Workers at the Nancy Pelosi Federal Building in San Francisco have been ordered to stay away from the building “for the foreseeable future” as crime in the city continues to soar.
Department of Health officials advised its hundreds of federal employees to work from home indefinitely rather than risk commuting to the downtown tower, which has become a hotspot for street drug deals in recent months.
“Given the conditions at the[Federal Building]we recommend that employees … maximize their use of telecommuting for the foreseeable future,” wrote Cheryl Campbell, HHS assistant administrative secretary, in an Aug. 4 memo obtained from The San Francisco Chronicle.
Campbell also wrote that the recommendation should be extended to building workers who are not currently using remote working opportunities.
The memo was addressed to HHS regional leaders. However, it’s not clear if other federal agencies housing the listed building have also been advised to avoid the area.
The 18-story tower at the corner of Seventh Street and Mission Street also houses the office of its namesake, former Speaker of the Democratic House of Representatives Pelosi, US Department of Labor and US Department of Transportation.
However, according to the Chronicle, Pelosi did not advise her five employees to work from home.
Instead, the congresswoman is working closely with local and state law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of her employees, a spokeswoman said.
Pelosi, however, raised concerns about the safety of building tenants in a meeting with the US Attorney for the Northern District of California last week.
“The safety of workers at our federal buildings has always been a priority for Speaker Emerita Pelosi, whether inside the building or on their way to work,” spokesman Aaron Bennett told the Chronicle.
“Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies – in coordination with public health officials and stakeholders – are working hard to address the acute crises of fentanyl trafficking and related violence in certain neighborhoods.”
The memo was reportedly issued on the same day that President Biden asked his cabinet to “aggressively implement” plans for federal employees to return to their offices after working remotely since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Axios reported.
San Francisco has slipped into an urban decay of abandoned businesses, outdoor drug use and homeless encampments in recent months, with crime escalating, especially in the downtown area.
Neighborhood activists are calling the city the “promised land of milk and fentanyl,” even as law enforcement officials are trying to crack down on rampant drug use.
Major retailers including Saks Off 5th, Anthropologie, Coco Republic and Whole Foods Market have pulled out of the crumbling territory.